Review: Detroit's DJ Bone is and always has been one of his city's most underrated producers. In fact, the man is a killer behind the decks too, mashing up house and techno with that inimitable US speed that has also been championed by the likes of DJ Rush et al. His relationship with Bristol's Don't Be Afraid has been a fruitful one of the last year or two, releasing a couple of gnarly 12"s under the Differ-ENT moniker, a sound that expands upon his comparatively more rigid techno sound. This is the debut album under the Differ-ENT alias, and we most certainly agree that It's Good To Be Differ-ENT." There isn't a dud tune on here, and for an LP that focusses primarily on the dancefloor, it manages to convey a strong narrative throughout, built with mastery and dedication by this talented artist. Tunes like "Met Allergic Flew Antsy" or "Marvel Less" are muscly and fast-paced, but there is still plenty of exploration going on at their core, while remnants of electro can be heard on tunes like "Compute Her". This is a vibrant LP, made up of many different guises and shades, all finely tuned around the dancehall, and strangely fitting with the UK's lust for the broken sound. Recommended.
Review: Since she last released some original music, Ikonika has been through a lot, including - in her own words - "pregnancy, depression and therapy". It's undoubtedly great to have her back in business, not least because "Bodies" offers a reminder of her undoubted musical talents. She begins with the spacey, bass-heavy slipped electro attractiveness of "Your Body", before opting for even bolder bass, more futuristic electronic motifs and broken beats on the arguably even better "Nobody". Turn to the flipside for the punchy, machine-gun breaks, drowsy chords and warped analogue riffs of "What Kinda Pain Are We Talking About", as well as the snappy, all-action electro/breakbeat fusion of ghostly and intergalactic closing cut "Bodied (Roller Mix)", the EP's most sweaty and percussive moment.
Review: It now feels like a long time ago since Detroit's Manuel Gonzales aka M GUN first released his debut EP for London's The Trilogy Tapes. That release is, of course, still a blinding classic in our opinions but, since then, the electronic music producer has visited many facets of house, techno, and beyond, leading him all the way to this second album for Semtek's Don't Be Afraid, entitled Axiom. With a double LP + 7" format at his disposal, M Gun explores mamy different narratives of the music that he has evidently been exposed to from a lifetime in Detroit and, for this reason, the album remains largely genre-free. The pulse behind the majority of the tracks is undoubtedly techno in mind-set, but there are many moments on here, such as "Sil" or "Hole", that take this way beyond the dancefloor and onto something more timeless. A beautiful cacophony of extraneous electronic sounds. Yes, Manuel.
Review: Brum's best techno export since Regis, Jayson Wynters returns to Don't Be Afraid with four more strident constructions. Rooted in classic machine funk and loop craft we take off with the gradually pummelling percussive hypnotiser "Beta" and crash land to the soothing synthesis and deep acid textures of "The Kansei Method". In between we're treated to the soft-but-stern swoons of the white knuckle "One Hundred N Forty" and bashed senseless by the warehouse crumbling jacker "Into The Void". On point.